Monday, May 21, 2007

Hungary: gearing up for privitaization

Since visiting Slovakia last week, my curiousity about Central and Eastern Europe has been peaked. It's 17 years now since the 'iron curtain' fell and some countries have been fairing better than others in their journeys to establish democracies and stable economies.

One that is slightly ahead of the pack is Hungary. I was speaking to some Hungarians that traveled over to Slovakia for the G3 Breakfast event we held last Friday and they had an interesting story to tell about how sustainability was playing a role in business suceess there. They warned me that we can expect 5-10 new sustainability reports this year out of Hungary. I asked why.

They answered that many Hungarian companies are gearing up for privitization after decades of public ownership and governmental control. Some of the country's most important utilities, service providers, and national brands are opening up for private investors - from within Hungary and from abroad. Many are producing a sustainability report as a part of the package they are preparing to attract the most competitive offers. Showing that they adhere to high standards of environment, health, safety, product responsibility, labour practices, anti-corruption, and governance seems to help improve the value of the company.

That's a concrete business case if I've ever heard one.

2 comments:

Jernej Zavrl, Slovenia said...

A wealth of information about sustainability reporting and CSR related developments in this region can be found at http://www.nfrcsr.org/hrvatska/index.htm

Stephen said...

I'm enjoying this theme. Another great example of the value of CSR -- one especially pertinent in emerging markets.